To stay rel­e­vant in Sin­ga­pore’s highly com­pet­i­tive re­tail scene, two home­grown fash­ion de­sign­ers are do­ing things very dif­fer­ently: Max Tan, who shut­tered his store, is now bring­ing his clothes to you at home; and Elyn Wong still cre­ates only back­less pie

Herworld (Singapore) - - CONTENTS -

Two home-grown la­bels with per­sonal takes on fash­ion: Max Tan and Elyn Wong.

“My de­signs can look quite com­pli­cated and daunt­ing, but if you take the pieces apart, they are very wear­able.” – Max Tan


For the last sev­eral years in Europe, the Mid­dle East and China, Tan has been our an­swer to Martin Margiela and Ann De­meule­meester. His in­tel­lec­tual de­signs are stocked in multi-la­bel stores like Dublin’s Rock Bai­leys, Dubai’s The Car­tel and Guangzhou’s Fash­ion Door. Here at home, it’s the op­po­site. It’s a con­stant chal­lenge. “I think a lot of trac­tion comes from Europe and China be­cause women there are more re­cep­tive to con­cep­tual pieces. My de­signs can look quite com­pli­cated and daunt­ing, but if you take the pieces apart, they are very wear­able – save for a few state­ment pieces, of course – and can be eas­ily in­cor­po­rated into ev­ery­day looks.”

Tan opened a store in Sin­ga­pore in 2015, but it closed within a year. Yet, he wants to keep push­ing on.

“This year, I was cho­sen to be part of in­ter­na­tional fash­ion busi­ness de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme Fash­ion Fu­tures 2.0, a Sin­ga­pore Fash­ion Week ini­tia­tive.

“I trav­elled to New York and saw how la­bels like Re­becca Minkoff and Carolina Her­rera worked, from de­vel­op­ment and cre­ative process to PR and communications.

“When I closed my store last March, I felt there were many local cus­tomers in Sin­ga­pore who en­joy shop­ping on­line but still want to look at and feel the items be­fore drop­ping $400-$500 on a brand they have never heard of,” he says.

“So I started the come­home-to-shop ser­vice in Oc­to­ber last year.” Here’s how it works: First, visit www.max-tan.com, se­lect as many pieces and sizes as you’d like to try, and make an ap­point­ment with a sales as­so­ciate, who will bring them to your home. “We’ll even help iden­tify pieces that work well with your cur­rent wardrobe. This ser­vice is free of charge – you only pay for the clothes you pick.”

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